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Being a stay-at-home-mom is the best job I’ve ever had, but it has also been one of the most challenging, especially after becoming a mom of two. It’s not complex like a brain-surgeon’s job, but rather difficult in that it’s similar to juggling rings of fire, much like clowns do at the circus. Sometimes life gets busy, really busy. But I have to remind myself that in order to be the best mom I can, I have to take care of myself first. (You know, like remember to eat breakfast.)
I’m always looking for ways to be better–a better wife, a better mom, a better person. So today I thought I would share my seven tips to being a better SAHM.
WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR KIDS & CHOOSE JOY.
Have you ever heard that happiness is a choice? Gratitude is always the best attitude, and if you wake up before your kids do and choose to start your day with joy, you’re on the right track to give your day the best you’ve got.
This gives you time to enjoy a devotional or book, your cup of coffee in silence, or listen to some of your favorite tunes. You woke up with purpose, so enjoy it.
BE SURE TO EAT.
This seems like common sense, but I find myself skipping meals all the time (and not on purpose). But I get cranky-pants when I don’t eat. Food and water is pretty necessary, don’t you think? Eating is fuel for the brain and body, and those two things are pretty important, especially when you’re a mom on the go.
Jimmy Dean just came out with some new flavors of their breakfast bowls; they are perfect for you to make for yourself before your kids wake up. Why? Because they’re single servings that are ready in a few minutes with a zap in the microwave! No mess, no stress, no brainer.
They’re great to eat for breakfast to start your day, since they’re packed with protein (a whopping 21-23 grams). And they also make for a great afternoon snack, too. You can pick up these yummy Jimmy Dean bowls (I love the Breakfast Burrito version) in your local HEB’s freezer aisle.
Stay healthy and hydrated, and don’t forget to eat! We don’t get sick days.
GET DRESSED FOR THE DAY.
Even if it’s just a change into yoga pants and a fresh t-shirt, get out of those PJs, girlfriend! (And right now, I’m really talking to myself, because we have a serious PJ problem in our house.) But really. Brush your teeth, wash your face, put on a little concealer over those dark circles under your eyes (again, talking to myself), wear your smile, and make yourself feel pretty. Do this when you wake up before your kids get up OR at least get this done as soon as possible to help make you feel like you’re ready for work, because it is, right? Also, it will help motivate you to get out of the house occasionally, attend play dates, and make new friends. It’s a win-win. I always feel more confident when I look my best.
PACK YOUR PATIENCE & BE PRESENT.
Keep in mind that you are molding a little human being into the person they were meant to be. But as they learn and grow, inevitably they will throw tantrums, make messes, be loud, cry for no reason, and do exactly what you tell them not to do (hello, growing frontal lobe). (This is when #1 comes in handy.) Be patient and work with your child. In order to do this, you must be present. Put away your technology and distractions. Because being present will allow you to see all the beautiful things your child does throughout the day. These little things will make your soul smile and remind you that they are beyond worth it. While you’re present (and even when you’re practicing that patience), tell that baby of yours just how much you love him/her every chance you get.
ENJOY THE QUIET TIME.
Here is where having your kids on a schedule or consistent routine has a huge advantage. When your kids are on a schedule, it makes life so much easier. There is purpose, motivation, and consistency. Babies and children thrive on structure. So when they are taking a nap or are old enough to have playtime by themselves, enjoy the quiet time. Catch up with your DVR, get in a workout on a DVD, call a friend, listen to music while doing some chores, or whatever your little heart desires to give you some peace.
PRAISE YOUR HUSBAND.
Let’s not forget about the husband. He is a big reason why you are able to stay at home, so thank him and love on him, too. Instead of greeting him with all of the negative things you’ve endured throughout the day, greet him with a smile. He’ll appreciate the positivity. You know how important it is to feel appreciated, and he’s no different. It’s that golden rule, sister: treat others how you want to be treated. You’ll both be happier for it.
We as moms need our rest and rejuvenation, too. Plan a mom’s night out, take a trip alone to Target, start a new hobby, go to the salon…whatever it is you love, do it! Take the time to recharge and reboot. I know I am always so excited when I come back home after being gone for even an hour. But you need that time. Your kids and your hubby will thank you.
Some of these tips can be hard to do at times. Being a stay-at-home mom is a brutal, beautiful job. Do not be so hard on yourself. When you get discouraged, remember you are stronger than you think you are. We CAN do hard things, because those little fingers tugging at our shirt with a milk smeared smile remind us that we can do anything. As long as you can say, “I did the best I could today,” then you’re doing all you can do, and that is the best gift you could ever give your family. Let us always strive to be the best version of ourselves. Because when we know better, we do better.